Gratitude seems to be in short supply in American life, and even more so when we think about our work. We are just coming off of Thanksgiving weekend, where we gathered with friends and family to express our gratitude for the abundance we have in our lives. I wondered how many of us expressed gratitude for the work we engage in? Did anyone notice the endless opportunities technology offers us? Sometimes, we go on autopilot and don’t truly realize how much work impacts or benefits our existence.

Work consumes roughly 70% of our day. That means we spend most of our effort and energy on tasks outside our own personal interests. Work impacts our sense of stability, contribution and self-worth.  It goes without saying that when work is good, it’s something to be thankful for and not take for granted.   

These are a few elements of work-life that I am thankful for:  

  • The invention of the computer, the world wide web, fiber optic cables, software systems, high performing batteries, the mobile phone. Not to mention every other gadget and tool that gives me the freedom to do work anywhere there is internet and an electrical socket.  
  • Living during an era of accessibility to different places to live, explore and see that expands my work options. For the first time in human history, we have the ability to work in any business, industry, or job on planet Earth. The options for how we work and where we get to work are endless. 
  • Employers who want to move our working world into the digital era. Employers that want to bring more balance to the employer-employee relationship make it possible for their companies to grow and their people to be empowered to make choices right for their work lives.  
  • Generations before me, my generation and the generations after me.  Every generation helped us to get where we are now. Every generation has the chance to build upon the change. And every new generation has the chance to pick up that change and set new expectations.  
  • Skilled, get-it-done Talent who work smarter and harder to move business forward. The people that I have worked with over the years that take pride in their work are the most memorable. Without those people, companies would struggle. 
  • Partners in business, in government and in life that are ethical, purpose-driven, and just damn fun. I especially value those that know that life must be filled with joy to make any of this worthwhile. 
  • An era of sanity, disclosure, and access to information that makes doing shady business practices challenging, forcing us to improve the quality of what we bring to the market.  
  • Amazing experiences in life that give me a good reason to spend my hard earned money from working.  
  • The gifts that have been given to me that are completely out of my control to be able to do work that means something beyond profit and give others the opportunity to do the same.  

Thank u, next

Obviously, having an attitude of gratitude and choosing what to be thankful for is personal. However, if you don’t have that attitude, you probably need to figure out why that is. Think about the things in your work life that you enjoy, value, and care about. Make a list of what gives you stability, joy, or just makes your life a little easier. If you can’t find much, you may want to find a different job or a different career altogether. There is always something to be grateful for. Bringing gratitude into the process helps us to be happier in our work. Of course, if you're ready to move on, there's nothing wrong with putting on a little thank u, next, and rolling on to the next opportunity.